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Old 09-20-2016, 03:44 PM   #1
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Question Model that sleeps 4 adults under 5500 lbs or so

Greetings from a newbie to the site.
I am retired and my wife is getting close. We are beginning to think about buying an Airstream towable. (Sorry I don't know the abbreviations yet, but I'll learn quickly). I have an '05 Land Cruiser, and plan to use it or a newer LC to tow, so need to keep it around 5500# or under (LC has 6500# towing cap).
The second major requirement is one that I am having trouble with: finding a smaller model that sleeps 4 adults. Most that claim "sleeps 4", must be thinking about 2 children. Our children and friends are full-size adults.
Beyond that, I never buy a new car, and don't plan to buy a new Airstream, so will likely concentrate on models that are between 5 and 10 years old.
I'm looking for advice as to what models might pass these first critical hurdles. Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #2
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Our trailer is a 1979 '31 whose empty weight is just over 5,000. Full capacity around 7,000. AS is the oldest RV company, but they've passed thru many hands over the years. When our trailer was built the company was owned by Beatrice Foods. Thor has had it since the early 2000s. With every change of hands, each owner makes "improvements." Once upon a time aluminum aircraft style trailers were the light weights of their day. But that's not necessarily true now. Thor makes AS with a bit wider body than previous owners. They also use a different type of aluminum. If you need a certain size and length, you may need to go older. Maybe some of the pre-Thor owners could give you more info about lengths and weights of their trailers so you have more information. It might also be possible to find old documents on the internet with specs of some the various models ever made. It's interesting just to see what's changed and what hasn't over the years.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:05 AM   #3
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My 1991 25ft excella weights in at 6800 lbs with about 1200 lbs of tongue weight. Just for a reference point.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:16 AM   #4
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My 1995 Excella weighs 5300 empty and has a gross weight of 6800. Airstream shows the empty trailer tongue weight at 700 lbs in their archives.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:40 AM   #5
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Thank you, Starstream. It is definitely useful to verify that the same model and length AS from different years might weigh in differently. I do think your 31' model with gross weight of ~7000# is a bit bigger than I am looking for at present.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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Trailer weight doesn't really mean much. Tongue weight has a little more bearing.

Normally I'd say choose the trailer first. But I wouldn't own your particular vehicle to do the towing. There are better choices among SUVs.

I recommend you review the posts of Can An RV dealer Andrew Thomson. Read them all, in fact, and have a look for his online column entitled "Hitch Hints".

He is the expert. No one else in the field has his experience. Thus, as he enjoys helping others outside of dealership duties (and consults with Airstream both as a dealer and as a hitch expert), it's a quick education to learn what matters. And what matters less.

"Weight" is a matters-less item. And a Land Cruiser is just not a great tow vehicle. Why that is, you'll discover.

Read. And then consult Mr Thomson. A really great combined rig awaits you.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:05 AM   #7
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If you acquired a 5500 lbs trailer

You would be over weight. You have to add weight of passengers, cargo, food, drinks and mandolin.

Most trailers have a " master " bed, with the second bed being smaller than a normal double bed.

For a variety of reasons, two couples in the same trailer is pushing it.

One person breathes and/or sweats out about a gallon a night. It can get kinda soggy with too many people in a camper.

There are ways to get around most of the issues.

I disagree that weight is a matter less item. Matters include braking, transmission, power, and safety. Opinions vary, and granted, I am not THEE expert or an engineer. Just someone who notices a difference in braking while towing.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:20 AM   #8
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I have NO DESIRE

To enter into, or start another argument.

But I think that people should hear from both sides. To the original poster…read some of the too many previous arguments
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:21 AM   #9
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Model that sleeps 4 adults under 5500 lbs or so

Both sides of an argument assuming a flat earth aren't any more valid than the other.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:56 AM   #10
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An argument with an insurance company can feel very one sided.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:06 PM   #11
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Useful info, Mandolin Dave. I'm beginning to figure out that TTs weren't really made for more than two. However, we prefer to travel with friends or family, and it doesn't make sense to me to have two TTs running all over the country in tandem. What to do?
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for responding, Slowmover, and I certainly will read what your expert has to say. I am an engineer, so understand that more data is better. However, I will challenge your generality that the LC "is not a good tow vehicle". I towed factory boats in the 3000# range for 25 years, and IMHO, there is no better vehicle for that than the LC (and, yes, I realize that is different than a TT). Besides, my wife will never agree to let go of the LC, which is her daily driver, and I'm not interested in buying a $20000-$50000 vehicle just for towing a TT around.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:46 PM   #13
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Vintage Airstream maybe a better choice for you. I have a 62 Tradewind that weighs 3200 lbs and sleeps 4. A newer A/S the smallest one weighs 4000lbs dry and sleeps 2. Plus vintage is so cool.


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Old 09-21-2016, 07:57 PM   #14
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Hello,

I also have been searching for an Airstream with an SUV that has limited tow capacity and more importantly a VERY limited Tow Hitch Weight (This is very important).

I found this PDF from Airstream that has their tow weights going back to the beginning of time. The amount of times that I reference this is a bit overboard but the balance between the Tow Trailer (TT) and your Tow Vehicle (TV) cannot be overstated!

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...me-Weights.pdf
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